How to Paint Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh with Acrylic Paint | Art Journal Thursday Ep. 36

(jazz piano music) – [Host] Hey guys. Welcome back to another
episode of Art Journal Thursday where we get creative
every single Thursday here on this channel. In today’s episode, I’m going
to show you how to paint one of Vincent Van Gogh’s
famous sunflower paintings with acrylic paint, step by step. It’s actually easier than it seems. The first thing you want to
do is attach some washi tape all around the paper so we
get a nice wide frame later and you know how much I love washi tape and how pretty the wide
frame looks in the end. The next thing you want to
outline the general shapes of the painting using a pencil. Sketch out the lines in the
lower fourth of the page and the vase with a more
curvy shape at the middle and place it almost at the
center of the horizontal line. And since we absolutely
don’t have to focus on any details just yet, we
just want to create circles and ovals wherever the sunflowers are. We just need to know where to
paint each sunflower later. We just look at the
reference picture so you know where to add the shapes. And once we’ve created the general shapes, we are ready to paint. Let’s start with the background first. For the upper part of the
background, we are going to need a light turquoise shade of acrylic paint. So I’ll mix some blue, yellow and white colored acrylic paint until
I was happy with the shade. If it’s too blue, add a
little bit more yellow to the mixture and if it’s too
dark, add more white-colored acrylic paint until you get
the desired shade of color. And once you’re happy with
the shade, take your brush and start applying paint
thickly to the paper, one brush-stroke at a time. I would recommend you
use a flat brush for this because it creates a really nice texture. But you can also achieve a similar effect by using a big round brush as well. Add a small rectangle
vertically and then horizontally to create this square-shaped pattern. As you may know, Vincent was famous for his thick use of paint. His brush-strokes were
more visible and created an extra element of texture,
once the paint was dry. This is what we want to achieve
in this painting as well. Add the paint thickly, one
brush-stroke at a time, creating this thick texture
while changing the movement of the brush from vertical to horizontal. You can also add a little
bit of white and blue paint from time to time to make the background look even more interesting. Cover every part of the background and don’t forget some parts
that are in-between the circles. Now it’s time to create the area below. Here, I mix some yellow ochre
with yellow acrylic paint and apply the paint the same way as I did for the background. You don’t have to mix
the colors perfectly, as having different shades
of paint on the brush will create a really nice pattern. We want to have some
parts to be more bright and some areas darker. Here you can also mix in
some more white paint to it to make some areas even brighter. For the vase you can also
use all the different colors we have prepared. For the lower part, I
use some of the light, turquoise colored paint and mix it with a little bit of the
yellow paint together. For the top part we just need a little bit of the yellow paint that we
mix with the light ochre paint. Apply the paint the same way
as we did for the background. The fun part of painting this painting is that you don’t have to
blend anything super carefully. Here you can really have
fun applying the paint rather loosely and messy, while creating a real
nice texture and pattern. You can also add a few light
reflections to the upper part of the vase using white-colored
paint, but it’s not really that necessary now as we will
go back to this step anyway once you’ve painted the
main areas of the artwork. And now we can finally start
painting the actual sunflowers. To create the flowers, I’ll
be using different shades of ochre, yellow and dark-brown
colored acrylic paint and a thin brush. For now we want to create a
darker base for the petals. Now to create the sunflowers, don’t focus too much on details. As we created the circles
and ovals in the beginning, you can now use those
guidelines and add the petals one by one following
the shapes you created. Again, don’t forget to look
at the reference picture so you know where to place the petals. They don’t have to have a perfect shape. As you can see, I added
the petals one by one using yellow and light
ochre colored paint, and made the petals look rather messy. As both shades are on my brush, they will automatically create
a few wrinkles to the petals. And for now we just need
to create the general shape as we will add more details later. Three of those sunflowers
had a darker center, so here I used a dark brown colored paint. By the way, I added a complete
list of all the color shades I used in this painting in
the description box down below in case you were wondering,
or interested in that. So check it out. With the leftover paint on
the brush, I also painted the stems to create the base layer, so we can add more details
later, once everything is dry. And from here you want to do the same with the other sunflowers. The two flowers below are
rather dark and have no petals on them, so here you just want
to create these base colors using light ochre color and
add texture using brown colored paint by dabbing the brush
onto the first layer of paint. Don’t forget to paint the center as well. Here I used a little bit of
light-green colored paint. Again, don’t think too much
when you paint the petals. You don’t have to create
each petal and make sure that every single petal is visible. Use a lighter yellow shade
for a few brush-strokes. Add a darker shade for
a few other strokes. And maybe even mix a tiny
bit of white colored paint as well to create some
highlights effortlessly. Just be messy. If you look closely at this art work, you will see all the
different brush strokes and all the different shades of color. It might look messy, but as a
whole it creates a beautiful sunflower with lots of
details without even trying. Look at every sunflower at
a time and pay attention to it’s brush-strokes. By just dabbing the paint onto the paper, you can create a really nice texture that looks similar to
the original painting. Don’t forget that all these brush-strokes build up the texture of the sunflowers. By mixing the different colors
of ochre, yellow and brown we automatically create a wide
spectrum of different shades. If you didn’t know yet, Vincent
used all the different color shades to express the entire
lifespan of the flowers. When you look at the bright yellow shades, these symbolize the full bloom. But when you look at the
darker brown and ochre colors they symbolize the wilting
and dying blossoms. And here we want to capture that, one brush-stroke at a time. Sunflowers still have a little bit of green leaves around them. So here you can use the same yellow shades and mix it with your blue tones. This is how it looks so far. And now it’s time to add more details. Since you create the first
layer using darker tones we will use some brighter
colors and add them on top to create more details. Here I mix some yellow
with white acrylic paint to make it look more pastel
and also more opaque. And with this color, I
went over every sunflower and created a second layer the same way. Don’t cover up everything, we still want the darker
shades to look through. I read that his sunflowers
paintings were actually even brighter, but unfortunately they lost their colors throughout the years. So I wonder how his
paintings looked back then. Once you add the second
layer of paint to each flower you can move on and add even more details. As you can see the sunflowers
on the reference picture have a few green leaves looking
through some of the petals. And this is what you’re going to do now. So here I mix some green
colored paint using the colors I had on my pallet and added
a few lines here and there while looking at the reference picture. There’s also a little
bit of green on the vase so add a little bit of
paint there as well. And as you can see, the
sunflowers have a few lighter dots in the center of each
flower, so here we can use some lighter shades of
color and add those dots by dabbing the brush around
the center like that. And now we can finally
add the finishing touches and we are done. Now we need to outline
the vase, the table, the sunflowers and their
stems using a darker shade of brown colored paint. Do this slowly and
carefully but don’t stress about making a perfect
straight line or anything. As you can see, his lines
weren’t perfect either. And now all we have to do is
apply some light reflections to the vase and we’re done. Here I used white colored
paint and applied the paint the same way as on the
background, following the triangle shape that you can see
on the reference picture. And now the time has come
and you can finally remove the washi tape to reveal
the finished painting. If you notice that you
still have some white spots around your sunflowers,
you can simply go over with a thin brush and use your
leftover blue colored paint that we mixed earlier. And we’re done! Now you can sign his name
or your name to the vase and the painting is finished. As you can see, there are
so many different ways how to create beautiful paintings and Vincent’s is by far
one of my favorites. If you like this video and find it helpful be sure to give this video a thumbs up to support this channel,
it will mean a lot to me. And if you’re new here,
don’t forget to subscribe and to turn your notifications
on by clicking on the bell to get notified whenever I
upload a new video on Thursdays and on Saturdays. Thank you so much for watching guys, have a wonderful day
and I will see you soon. Bye.


  • makoccino

    Hey guys! Greeting from Amsterdam and what a nice timing because In today's video we are going to recreate one of Vincent van Gogh's famous paintings! I really hope you like it! Let me know what other famous artist/paintings we should recreate next! <3

  • Ankita Guha

    You have 1M subscribers.

  • Ankita Guha

    I will always support you.
    I love your videos.
    Lots of love and support from India.

  • Charnjit kaur

    M late, because i was in school
    Lovely vedio
    Love from india

  • Viral Makadia

    Congratulations Mako , Love You

  • Buki_ bean

    Congrats for 1 million subscribers 👍🏽, I really love your channel , it helps me a lot , thank you 😊

  • Narendra Basutkar

    You hit 1 million yay

  • Art Life

    Many many congratulations for 1 million subscribers☺😊💖

  • -deena zakaria-

    Congratulations for 1M!!!!!!!
    You deserve 1M
    Love U!!!!!!

  • Jeorge Matthew


  • Jack Nick

    Congratulation mako for 1M subscribers

  • Amrit Sandhu

    Congrats Mako for 1 million subscribers 😁 👍👍🎉🎉🎉😊😊🎆🎆

  • Hamayel Piracha

    Love it

  • The Pastel Artist

    Congratulations on 1M subbies!!Im so happy for you!!This painting is gorgeous!!😙😙

  • Hamza Wahid

    Very Beautiful.👌👌👌👌

  • aditya harsh

    Hey Mako! I never knew that thick brush strokes were also a style of painting😮….people tell me that it seems messy, but I've learnt from you to kick negative thoughts aside and focus on yourself 😋…. congratulations on hitting one million, again.😊…have a nice day


    beautiful 🌊💐

  • Sandrine Sabrina

    I always knew you would make it past a million I'm so proud of you

  • MP20060715

    How about painting some cherry blossoms or Easter eggs and rabbits for spring?

  • Lê Tiên

    This is awesome please do more of van gogh

  • StylHarmony

    Big Huge Congrats for the 1M !!! Bravo !

  • ohcrying

    hey!!!! plzz vlog when your shoping for art things plzz

  • Amelia Rubey

    can I use poster colours for this painting??

  • Nagaraja Rao Janardhana Prasad

    can u try some Indian traditional paintings please

  • Nagaraja Rao Janardhana Prasad

    Congrats for 1 million
    happy that I am one of it
    Luv ur videos


    finally, 1 million sub .OMG , I love our youtube family and I tried to paint it . It when well

  • Vanessa R

    WE DID IT! WE HIT 1,000,000 Subscribers!!

  • Chrisa Dimitriadou

    Fantastic! I love your famous artists' remakes.

  • MR. ROWLEDGE draws

    Makko congrets for 1M subs
    Thinking i am first to greet you

  • alfreds111

    Ist nicht eine Konkurrentin dem Vincent herangewachsen?

  • Humy Akyol

    Wow! It looks great! Congratulations on 1 million subscribers. I am proud of being one of them for a long time!! Ilysm💕

  • CLTserendipity

    What a delightful video and finished product. Thank you for sharing! I've been waiting for an inspiration to get my paints out and start painting again. This is it. Beautiful!


    Mako,make a painting from bob ross painting.

  • Jasaspee Sahu

    congratulations for 1M

  • Samannaj Saaja


  • Holly of all trades

    It still blows my mind that you can do this with acrylic!

  • maria florencia fernandez


  • m gangeri

    great video!! love sunflowers!!

  • rianne garcia

    Happy one million!!❤

  • Thaynah Caroline Andrade

    I love it! Thanks

  • wimsical owl

    Super great video and guide! How do you keep your acrylics wet? I use the same ones that you do, and they seem to dry within minutes.

  • Catherine sandrina sondang Sitompul

    I in Indonesia

  • Hamayel Piracha

    Loved your way of painting

  • jasy jem

    oh i am so so late because of my exams.

  • Kanupriya N

    I love your work its always very inspiring. Just a sugestion, please use a clean palette because it gets confusing and looks like magic you getting a brown even with green visible from yellow ochre

  • Erza Mae Jones

    congrats you have 1millon subscribers and always sharinh your videos in facebook.

  • Erza Mae Jones

    congrats!! for 1million subscribers..

  • Paetyn Collins

    You did SUCH an AMAZING job. #goals

  • Kerstin Kruizinga

    Yay you pronounced van Gogh the right way! and your painting looks great! xx from the Netherlands

  • Arin Verma

    I’m featured ❤️❤️❤️ in outro ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • senthil kumar

    omg mako i tried it and it turned out amazing i will post it in my instagram

  • french branch

    Your painting looks more vibrant than the original _

  • Ola M

    Thank You so much! ❤️

  • Syd Edxts

    Can you please do bedroom In arles from Vincent van Gogh?

  • Kalai Cabantac

    huhuhuh ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  • Cássia Roberta

    I love your videos, they are an inspiration to me. What kind of paper do you use? Sorry for my English.
    Love from Brazil 🇧🇷❤

  • Spaceytrash

    tbh this is just pure magic and it looks totally wondeful. Your voice is also so relaxing to listen to. Keep up the good work! You def earned a new sub 😀

  • Keyli Salazar

    Me at start of the video: Ah yesssss art journal Thursday !!!! Awesome video Mako!!😀

  • nananana ohoh

    how fun! I want to do this I've never painted before but I really want to i should buy paint and brushes and paper!

  • Martyna Masłocha

    I fell in love with this ❤️❤️❤️

  • Astha Chawla

    I think you're really Amazing!! This video HELPED ME SO MUCH. I remade this, and everyone loved it. Your channel is the only one that REALLY helps, by the, step by step guide. Please please please please MAKE MORE "how to paint videos" of Van Gogh. I REALLY WANNA SEE MORE!!!

  • D G

    Great work, and at last someone who can pronounce Van Gogh correctly. Kudos 👍



  • Common ID

    U draw it so well . Please can u draw mandala or doodling or madhubani on a colourfull painted paper. Please pleaseeeeeeeee😌

  • moon light


  • Nailea Herrera

    hola, que pinturas utilizas?

  • Micayah Jearime Lapuz


  • Haroldo Canuto

    Make something by Klimt or Munch

  • Javi Herrera


  • Kara S

    When recreating a van gogh painting you need to use oils or acrylics right? Because hes paintings have textures in them.

  • Kara S

    Im gonna buy acrylics and try and do simple paintings using this kind of style painting. With textures and stuff.

  • Juli Soni

    Vincent van Gogh he is my favourite painter
    .but after u

  • Iris Osinga

    Finally someone who actually pronounced his name right🎉🎉, love your tutorials ❤️

  • kizz06

    Do you wash your brushes while painting? I heard that if you don't do that the acrylic would dry up and ruin the brushes?

  • Cedric Keizar Era

    Subscribed!!! Keep up the good content

  • Ashpyxiating

    Finally someone that tries to say his name right 🙌🏼 as a Dutch person i cringe sooo hard at the Van Go pronounciation. Especially when those people call themselves his biggest fans 😓

  • Amanda Sharples

    Hi Mako
    I really like your videos especially the Starry Night and Van Gogh Sun Flowers, i did try to paint these two and they turn out great, many thanks for the tutorials. could you please do more Van Gogh famous painting like the farm house, farm landscape, the iries and the Cafe

  • Happy Family

    I even can't believe that a person can do this much beautiful
    LOVELY : )

  • H Max

    O.K. that's it, my search is over. ( voice of angels play here) I have found my teacher. Gosh, you make that look so easy and it looks beautiful. Thank you.

  • Sona Raju


  • M M

    Wowwww. So pretty

  • Snookie Cookie 🍪

    Tysm it helps me a lot , plz pose more vids like this!❤️

  • kylie ky

    Thank YOU!

  • ade snyh

    im so in love

  • lilian gh

    Is it the same thing with watercolors?

  • Great Quotes Daily


  • Seema Das

    please recreat a bob ross painting

  • words can't hurt me these shades are gucci

    That looks so good! But can I use oil colors instead of acrylic colors?

  • matty

    Hey, can u do a video on how to paint the yellow chair by Van gogh

  • Rhiannon Cerys

    thank you so much for this! looks amazing <3

  • Kitty Cupacke

    My teacher showed my class this video before and at 9:22 she said: if any of you have instagram you can follow her (but we were too young to even have insta)

  • Catqueen 2107

    i remember we had to do this in my fourth grade art class with pastels, and oh i absolutely hate pastels.

  • Sorana Alessia

    What acrylic paints do you use? 🧡

  • Tom Jones

    watching you paint drives me CRAZY!!!

  • Michelle M. Sánchez

    looks so good

  • Margaaa B

    I think van gogh is your great great great great grandfather

  • kuukibox

    U are such a great teacher! More recreations plsss

  • Nour Elhouda

    Wooow bravo

  • Sofia Gabriel

    We're recreating a famous painting for art class In school and I'm doing this one!😀

  • Usha Spurthi



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